Disclaimer: I'm not JKR. Chapter title and summary come from the song Blackout by Breathe Caroline. Listen to it while you read this and you won't be disappointed.
“So how does my hair look? Is it too flat? And is my dress too short? Or is it a non-slaggy length? And what about—”
“Dom,” I said, getting ready to repeat the words I had said about a million times, “You look great.”
“You’re not even looking!” Dom exclaimed, snatching the magazine I was reading at out of my hand and narrowing her eyes at me. Milo, who was resting in the crook of my arm, meowed. “How can you say that when you haven’t even looked?”
“Because you always look great,” I responded, rolling my eyes. “And besides, I don’t know what you’re so worked up about. It’s just a Quidditch game.”
The Qudditch match between Gryffindor and Slytherin was one of the last things on my mind. Ever since my conversation with Bailey a couple of days ago, I had been in a bit of a funk. My thoughts constantly analyzed and revisited everything she had said and I couldn't help but wonder if Bailey was right. Was I really that terrible of a sister? Should I have tried harder?
Bailey's words had hit too close to home. I couldn't even get advice, because I refused to tell anyone about it. I was so ashamed of everything Bailey thought about me that I didn’t even feel comfortable telling Dom. And as much as I wanted to be angry at Bailey... I couldn't. Because as soon as I did, I thought of her pained face and how hurt she had looked in that hallway as she blinked back tears. Her and my mum had needed me, and I wasn't there.
“I know,” Dom said, smoothing down her hair and examining herself again in the mirror. I blinked away my thoughts and focused my gaze on Dom. “I just… Don’t want to look ridiculous, you know?”
I looked at Dom head to toe. From the too short red dress she had bought last week at Hogsmeade, to her gold heels and jacket, along with a Gryffindor scarf. If she was aiming to not look ridiculous, she had missed. By a lot.
However, while some people might look at her overdressy-ness and full out Gryffindor support as crazy, I knew that the real reason behind it was of course: Chaise. While we were all on good terms now and had become friends again, Dom and Chaise had yet to get back together, something that had confused Tyson, Wyatt, and I to no end. They still flirted and blushed whenever their hands brushed and always stared at one when the other wasn’t looking, but whenever any of us would ask either of them about getting back together, they’d just shrug and say ‘It’s better this way’.
Psh, whatever that meant. I liked to fantasize that the reason they weren’t back together was that the two of them were both too stubborn to admit that they missed the other. But hey, maybe that’s just me.
“This doesn’t have to do with trying to look good for a certain someone, does it?” I asked, giving Dom a look.
Dom stopped fluffing her hair and looked away from the mirror, focusing her eyes on me. “Corinne,” Dom started seriously, “I told you that Chaise and I are over. We tried dating, and it just ended badly. We’re better as friends.”
“But you guys still like each other!” I complained, throwing my arm up in exasperation.
“No, we don’t,” Dom said, turning back to the mirror and fluffing her hair again. “We’re just friends.”
“Yeah, okay,” I scoffed sarcastically. “I’m sure you are. Let me know how that works out once he starts hitting on other girls. I’m sure you’ll be fine then.”
Dom snapped her head towards me immediately, her eyes drilling holes into my skin. “Chaise was hitting on girls?”
“No,” I said slowly, “But he will, eventually.”
There was a long pause.
“Well then good for him,” Dom replied, shrugging her shoulders. “We both should move on.”
I rolled my eyes, not buying Dom’s words in the slightest, and just when I was about to point out the state of denial she was in, Roxy opened the door, interrupting our conversation.
“You guys,” Roxy said eagerly, “you should head down to the Quidditch stands. The game’s going to start soon!”
“Fine,” I said, giving Dom a ‘this isn’t over’ look and getting up from my laying position on the bed, dropping Milo down softly as I did so. When I got up, I noticed Roxy’s eyes narrow at me.
“Corinne,” Roxy said slowly, “What are you wearing?”
I looked down at my outfit quickly: a white t-shirt that had a silver snake on it with emerald eyes, a green and silver scarf, dark wash skinny jeans, and emerald green ballet flats.
I looked up at Roxy and gave her a nervous smile.
“Um… I just happened to throw it on?” I offered lamely.
Roxy crossed her arms, her Quidditch robes flowing in a big puddle of crimson cloth as she did so, and her stare stayed trained on me.
“You’re supporting Slytherin?” She asked me in an accusatory tone.
It wasn't so much as I was supporting Slytherin as Slytherin was supporting me. For my birthday, Tyson, Al, and Scorpius had all given me Slytherin gear encouraging me to wear it for the upcoming match. Tyson had given me the shirt (which he had gotten for me before our fight) right after we made up, Al had given me the scarf, and Scorpius had given me a Slytherin hoodie. And since emerald green is such a beautiful colorand I did love the guys, I had agreed to support them.
“Well…” I began, trying to find the right words, “It’s just… Tyson…Al…Scorpius… they…”
“I am disappointed in your lack of house pride,” Roxy stated solemnly. Then she cracked a smile. “But I’ll let it slide, only because you and Tyson have just made up this week. But if we lose, I blame you.”
“I can live with that,” I responded, nodding my head.
“You say that now,” Roxy began, “But if you’re filled with a room of upset Gryffindors, it’ll be another story.”
“We’ll see,” I sing-songed, grabbing my Slytherin hoodie off the chair and pulling on some silver gloves. “We’ll see.”
“Wow, Corinne, you have so much house spirit,” Chaise said sarcastically, crossing his arms as we walked up to him, “I’m shocked.”
“Told you,” Roxy stated, giving me her ‘I know I’m right’ look. “You’re treading on thin ice with the Gryffindors.”
“I’m just gunna hope it doesn’t crack,” I teased back, rolling my eyes.
“Yeah, okay, good luck with that one,” Chaise said.
I stuck my tongue out at him, to which he crossed his eyes.
Chaise then caught sight of Dom and grinned, slinging an arm around her shoulder. “You see, Corinne? You should take a leaf out of Dom’s book. She knows how to support a fellow friend.”
I watched as Dom beamed up at Chaise her cheeks flushing just the slightest shade of pink. I mentally wanted to smack them both and force them to get back together.
Why must they be so sodding stubborn?
“Oi! Peddington!” a voice called. I turned to see James, walking towards us in a sergeant-like manor, his hands clutched at his sides. His jet black hair was even more tousled than usual and his eyebrows were drawn together, framing his hazel eyes. He also happened to look particularly good in his Quidditch robes, but I immediately chased the thought away. “You need to come back into the changing rooms to listen to the pre-game speech.”
Chaise dropped his arm from around Dom’s shoulders, and looked towards James, who did not seem the least bit pleased that one of his teammates wasn’t prepping with the team.
“Oh, sorry James,” Chaise said to James easily. “I just figured the speech was over with. I mean, you’d been rambling on about plays for like an hour.”
James’ mouth tensed the slightest bit as Chaise said this and he ran his hands through his hair agitatedly.
“Peddington, now’s not the time for jokes. We really need to focus right now and this company,” as he said this his eyes flicked over my head to toe silver and green appearance, “is distracting you... And you’ll call me captain on the pitch.”
“Okay, captain,” Chaise said, rolling his eyes at us when James wasn’t looking. James did not leave however and continued to stand behind Chaise, crossing his arms and tapping his foot.
Dom and I exchanged a look at James’ very angry demeanor. While we hadn’t exactly been hanging out with him—at all—since we’d made up with Chaise and Tyson, James had been around more than usual lately. Normally, we’d see him talking to Chaise or Tyson, and once we'd arrive, he’d make his excuses and leave with no bitter words. It was as though neither of us quite existed to the other, and he was never snippy or mean. It was a great little system we had going. So what was with Mr. Angry making an appearance?
“Well I guess we’ll be going then,” I said slowly, beginning to back away from Chaise and James. “I promised Tyson, Scorp, and Al I’d see them before the game….”
“Hey! Aren’t you going to wish me luck?” Chaise asked. His eyes were now bright with excitement. At least he didn’t take James’ words too seriously. I guess it was a guy thing.
“Isn’t wishing someone luck bad luck?” I asked him arching an eyebrow. “Shouldn’t we tell you to break a leg or something?”
“Coco, that’s for acting,” Chaise responded rolling his eyes.
“No it’s for performing,” Dom chimed in, backing me up. “And today you are performing for a Quidditch team, so luck is bad!”
“Yeah,” I said absently, not really understanding where she went with the conversation. “What she said!”
“You didn’t understand a word I said did you Coco?” Dom asked me, looking annoyed. Chaise started laughing at me from behind her. I stuck my tongue out at him, and he pulled a funny face.
“Of course I did,” I lied back easily.
“No you didn’t.”
“Yes. I did.”
“Well this is my cue to leave,” Chaise said, rolling his eyes.
“But we didn’t even get to wish you luck!” I shouted after him, as he backed away.
“I thought you said that was bad luck?” he called back.
“Well then kick some arse, eh?” Dom interjected, bouncing up and down on the balls of her feet excitedly. Chaise grinned, hugged the both of us, and then turned around, falling into step with James and beginning to walk towards the Gryffindor changing rooms. They began chatting easily and broke into laughs about something, James’ angry demeanor beginning to fade.
“Huh,” I said, looking at Dom, who was also staring after the two of them. “I wonder what’s up with James.”
“And you care because…?” Dom asked, arching an eyebrow at me.
Dom had got me there. I didn’t know why I cared. Actually, scratch that, I didn’t care. Not one bit. It was just weird. Confusing, you know? He normally just wasn’t that mean. But I guess this was James. This attitude should be expected of him.
“There you guys are! I’ve been having to tell random people these spots were taken for ages, and a couple people were beginning to think I was making it up,” Wyatt said, pulling his cloak off of the Quidditch benches he was saving for us and fastening it back around his neck. “What took so long?”
“Whaddya mean?” Dom asked confused, as she took the seat next to me, after I had sat down next to Wyatt. “We’re like… right on time.”
“Oh yeah,” Wyatt said, rolling his eyes, “I forgot I was talking to the most notoriously late people ever.”
“We’re not late,” I argued, smacking Wyatt on the arm. “You’re just early.”
“Oh NOW it all makes sense,” Wyatt intoned sarcastically. “I always assumed when you guys made plans for us to meet at certain times, you meant that time. I didn’t know you meant twenty minutes afterwards.”
“Oh stop being a tightarse,” Dom complained stretching out her arms and cracking her head to both sides. “Just relaaaax.”
“Yeah,” I agreed, giving Wyatt a serious look. “I mean, I know you’re worried about Roxy getting hurt while she flies because you fancy her—”
“Who says I fancy her?” Wyatt asked, abruptly cutting me off.
Dom and I both snapped our heads to look at him, our mouths hanging in a large ‘o’.
“Are you saying you don’t fancy her?” Dom asked, cocking her head to the side.
“Mhmm,” I asked, immediately looking interested. “How so?”
“I mean…” Wyatt said, his gaze flickering around to look anywhere but at us. “I think we’d be better staying friends. She just got ditched by like her closest friend and it’d be rude of me to take advantage of her in her vulnerable state, wouldn’t it?”
I inwardly rolled my eyes. What is it with everyone wanting to be ‘just friends’? It’s like a fucking epidemic.
Oh hey, I like you. Let’s ‘just be friends’ because things would be oh so complicated otherwise. Oh great! You agree! Let’s keep this sexual tension going then because that’s SO MUCH BETTER.
“Wyatt, Wyatt, Wyatt,” I began, slinging an arm around his shoulder. “Has Roxy told you she doesn’t want a relationship?”
“But what?” Dom interrupted.
“But I’ve assumed—”
“You know what they say when you assume things right?” I asked, cutting him off.
“Ha ha,” Wyatt said, looking annoyed. “Look, I know what I’m doing. She needs more time.”
Sometimes, I hate how adorably chivalrous Wyatt is.
“Time is of the now,” I responded, ruffling Wyatt’s hair. “As of, ask her out now.”
“LADIES AND GENTLEMAN,” a loud voice exclaimed, saving Wyatt from a response. The loud chatter of the Quidditch stands quieted down as Louis Weasley began to speak in an amplified voice, using his wand.
I gave Wyatt a look to tell him this conversation wasn’t over, and he blatantly ignored me.
“WE’RE HERE FOR THE ONE, THE ONLY GRYFFINDOR VERSUS SLYTHERIN QUIDDITCH MATCH!” Louis exclaimed. Once he finished his sentence the stands erupted into insanely loud cheers. Dom and Wyatt were cheering along too, Dom jumping up and down while Wyatt whistled. I opted for the route that wouldn’t kill my vocal chords, and just clapped loudly.
“Alright, alright! Quiet!” Louis joked, causing the cheers to slightly subside. “I haven’t even introduced the teams yet!”
It took a little bit longer for the cheers to die down, but once they did he took another breath. “Now, let me introduce to you, the best team to ever grace Hogwarts, the undisputed champions of last year, the one, the only: THE GRYFFINDORS!”
If I had thought the cheers before had been loud, I was proven wrong. After Louis finished his sentence, there was the loudest uproar of cheers I’d ever heard. My head grew cloudy with the noise and my thoughts began to jumble over themselves as earsplitting shrieks entered my ears. Even at Beauxbatons, nobody ever got this excited for Quidditch matches.
The cheers grew even louder as the Gryffindor team walked out. James was seeker and captain, Aidan, Oliver, and Chaise were chasers, Freddy and a third year Jason Whittaker were beaters, and Roxy was the keeper. The cheers continued as they all walked in one after the other, a mass of scarlet robes against the grassy pitch.
“And introducing the opposing teams, who are of course no match for the mighty Gryffindors… the Slytherins!” Louis said, obviously showing his bias towards the Gryffindor house.
The Gryffindor stands Dom and I were in grew significantly quieter as the noise from the Slytherin stands grew to be just as loud as the Gryffindors had previously been. I clapped the same decibel that I had for the Gryffindors, and noticed a couple people shoot me the stink eye at my Slytherin gear, before I just decided to stop clapping all together.
It was obvious the team I was supporting anyways.
I watched as the Slytherin team marched onto the Quidditch pitch, Al heading the team with a serious expression on his face. Tyson and Scorpius were walking behind him, laughing and joking with one another, and the rest of the Slytherin Quidditch team also seemed pretty rowdy and excited.
Madame Hooch then had both teams line up in the middle of the pitch, ordering the captains to shake hands. James and Al shook hands quickly, both of them looking more serious than I’d ever seen them. I couldn't help but keep my eyes fixe James, whose expression was very tense as his eyes locked with Al. I found his expression odd, since he almost looked, dare I say it, angry at Al.
“Why does James look so snippy?” I wondered aloud, finding it odd how moody James had been this whole morning.
“Him and Al are always like this,” Dom said, waving it off like it was no big deal. “They’re really, really competitive with each other.”
Ah, sibling rivalry. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it
“AND THEY’RE OFF!” Louis announced, breaking into our conversation. Dom and I both looked back at the pitch, to watch as the Quidditch players all rose up from the ground, red and green blurs as they flew across the pitch.
It was kind of pretty to watch. They almost looked like Christmas.
“The game starts off simple. Wood has the quaffle and he passes it to Peddington, the newest chaser, who passes it to Finnegan, our seasoned pro, who—
OH hit from a bludger by Wittry, the new Slytherin beater.”
I looked at Tyson, who smirked and then saluted to crowd, obviously proud that he had hit Aidan right in the chest. A bunch of Slytherins burst into loud claps and cheers. I found myself smiling a little involuntarily at the fact that he managed to cause Aidan pain.
“And Finnegan’s okay! He’s flying around again, but the quaffles now in Malfoy’s hand who passes it to Flint who passes it to- oh stolen by Finnegan, guess he didn’t let that bludger effect him— OH! But he might let that one. Another bludger by Wittry. Man this guy knows how to aim.”
The audience gasped as Aidan was, yet again, hit by a bludger. He wobbled around on his broom, dropping the quaffle, and then steadied himself, shooting a really pissed of look at Tyson. Tyson smirked.
“And Finnegan’s still okay! But now Flint has the quaffle again, who passes it to Malfoy who—dodges a bludger sent by Weasley! And shoots…. YES BLOCKED BY THE AMAZING GRYFFINDOR SEEKER!”
I watched as Roxy caught the ball easily, blocking Scorpius from scoring and then threw it to Oliver. I switched my gaze from watching them to watching Al and James, the two seekers, as their eyes tore across the field, trying to find the snitch. James' hair was whipping against his forehead with his eyes were narrowed in concentration, as he ignored Al and searched the grounds for that familiar glint of gold.
“-And a block from Slytherin’s keeper as well! Although just barely,” Louis announced, causing me to look back at the action.
“How long do Quidditch games last?” I asked Wyatt, who was transfixed on the game.
“Until the snitch has been caught. It normally takes about an hour, although there have been games that have gone on for days.” Wyatt explained, keeping his eyes on the game.
I sighed as there was another block by Roxy on the pitch after another Slytherin chaser aimed at her. Sports weren’t really my favorite thing in the world to watch. They tended to get really boring, really fast. At least for me.
“Looks like this game's going to be a long one folks,” Louis announced, as the Slytherin Keeper blocked a shot from Chaise. “Slytherin and Gryffindor are on their game.”
“Quidditch is boring,” I exclaimed, resting my head on Dom’s shoulder and fluttering my eyelids closed.
“Come on, Chaise! Just throw it! THROW IT!” Dom exclaimed, brushing me off as she stared intently at Chaise who now had the quaffle. The rest of the school was also watching the game eagerly, looking anything other than bored.
I guess that made one of me, then.
“And another ten points for Gryffindor!” Louis announced, which elicited cheers from the Gryffindor stands.
The Quidditch game had been going on for an hour now, and nobody was any closer to winning then they had when they started. Gryffindor was in the lead, but only by fifty points, and Slytherin was holding their own.
It was really down to the two seekers: James and Al to end the game. And while there had been numerous spottings of the snitch throughout the game, neither of them had managed to catch it. Not that they were bad seekers, in fact it was the opposite. They were both too good. And since they were both really good seekers, neither would let the other catch the snitch.
“Why can’t you have ties in Quidditch?” I asked Wyatt, who was watching Roxy, looking worried every time a quaffle was thrown at her. How sweet.
“A tie would defeat the whole purpose of a Quidditch game,” Wyatt explained, looking away from Roxy reluctantly as he turned to me. “What’s the point of having no winner and no loser?”
“The point is,” I began, crossing my arms, “that the game ends with everyone feeling good about themselves. Then everyone’s happy.”
“That’s a stupid idea,” Dom cut in. “There always has to be a loser. How else would the winners feel better about themselves?”
“By being good people?” I suggested.
“Psh, yeah, okay,” Dom said, rolling her eyes. “Like that ever makes someone feel better.”
“Oh don’t listen to Dom,” Wyatt said. “She’s a bit too pessimistic about things. I mean this is the girl that goes by the motto: Life sucks then you die.”
“It’s a good motto!” Dom argued. “It’s the truest thing I’ve ever heard.”
“It’s not true,” Wyatt responded.
“But it is,” Dom said. “Did you know it’s actually proven that people remember the bad things in their lives over the happy things? It’s like the human mind is set up to have a terrible life.”
“Yeah I have to agree with Dom on this one,” I said. “Life does kind of suck.”
“AND THE POTTERS HAVE SPOTTED THE SNITCH!” Louis shouted, instantly breaking into our conversation and causing the three of us to whip our heads back to the action.
James and Al were both barreling down fast, their hair plastered against their faces by the wind as they plummeted closer and closer to the ground. I looked to where they were heading and caught sight of the snitch, glinting against the grass, looking almost as though it was winking.
The entire audience held their breath, watching as James and Al zoomed closer and closer to the ground. They both refused to look at the other, and had their mouths set into thin lines, their eyes oh so focused on the bit of gold that was right above the ground.
“They’re going to crash,” Wyatt stated. “There’s no way either of them will be able to get the snitch and pull up before hitting the ground.”
After he said this, it seemed that the two seekers realized this as well. Al, who was barreling to the ground at an incredibly fast speed, pulled up at the realization that he would crash. James, noticing this, followed his lead.
“And it looks like they’ve pulled out now! Safe bet I’d say. That’s a pretty dangerous dive,” Louis’s voice echoed around the stadium.
However, just as James decided to pull up, realizing that it would be stupidly reckless to go after the snitch, Al began to barrel down again, gaining speed and surpassing the slight lead James had had. I noticed James mutter something that looked like “Fuck” under his breath, before he began to follow Al again.
Al continued to fly towards the ground now, throwing caution to the wind at the fact that if he tried to get the snitch, he would surely crash. James was trailing just slightly behind him, looking very pissed off at the trick his brother had played on him, but still managing to catch up slightly.
They were now right in front of the snitch, and both of them began to reach their arms out to try and catch the ball. They were both so close—
Suddenly, James and Al both fell off of their brooms, colliding with each other as they tried to get the snitch. They both toppled over and landed in a heap on the ground, however what caught the audience’s attention was the fact that the snitch was nowhere to be seen.
“And one of the Potter’s has caught the snitch!” Louis announced. Everyone in the audience held their breath, unsure which Potter had caught it.
I then watched as Al, slowly but surely, pumped his hand up into the air, his face covered in dirt and his nose bleeding slightly. There was a glimmer of gold in his hand that could be seen by everyone and the entire stadium seemed to exhale in one large woosh. The Slytherin stands erupted into earsplitting cheers.
“Slytherin…. Well Slytherin… has won.”
“Ty, I’m so proud of you!” I said happily, giving Tyson a hug to which he spun me around enthusiastically.
The game had ended, the score resulting in 350- 140, Slytherin. The catch at the end of the game had been the determining factor of who would win, and Al had caught it just barely. Dom, Wyatt, and I were now on the Quidditch pitch, where the Slytherin and Gryffindor Quidditch teams were loitering around, the Slytherins celebrating and shouting loudly and the Gyrffindors looking very upset.
“I think you’re the only Gryffindor to think that,” Tyson said, laughing as he put me down.
“That’s not true!” I exclaimed. “What about Wyatt? And Dom?”
“You do realize they both wanted Gryffindor to win… right?” Tyson asked pointing something out.
I looked around to where he was pointing to see Wyatt standing next to Roxy as she looked a bit depressed, obviously trying to console her, and Dom standing with Chaise, both of them looking upset about how the game had turned out.
Had I really been the only one supporting Slytherin?
“Maybe they wanted both teams to win,” I offered.
“Yeah, okay, load of shit,” Tyson responded. “I’m just proud that we won. It was all because of me, you know.”
“I’m sure it was,” I said, rolling my eyes.
“Hey it was!” Tyson argued.
“I believe you.”
“No you don’t!”
“Course I do.”
“Don’t believe him, Corinne, I’m the reason we won,” Al said, having heard our conversation and walked over to the two of us. The blood on his nose was now cleaned up, and the dirt on his face was starting to fade. Scorpius was with him, and they both looked insanely happy.
I guess Quidditch can do that to people.
“Congrats to the two of you!” I said, giving each of them a hug. “You made me proud to be wearing Slytherin colors.”
“So it’s worth it despite the nasty glares you keep getting?” Scorpius asked, gesturing to a couple of Gryffindors who looked miffed that I was congratulating the winning team.
Whatever, they’re tossers anyways.
“Course it is!” I said cheerfully, slinging my arms around Scorpius and Tyson’s shoulders since they were the closest to me.
“Good, answer,” Tyson said. “Because Slytherin’s having a party to celebrate, and you’re coming.”
“Tyson, I said if we win we might be able to have a party,” Al said seriously. “I don’t want the team to get too—”
“PARTY IN THE SLYTHERIN COMMON ROOMS!” Scorpius shouted, drowning out Al's words.
There was a loud chorus of cheers as he said this, even Dom and Chaise looked a bit excited, despite the fact that Chaise had just lost. The only person who didn’t look happy, was James, who was standing a ways away, looking as closed off as ever and kicking the dirt.
Someone needed to tell him that it’s just a game. Seriously.
“So I’ll see you there then?” Tyson asked me, raising his eyebrows expectantly.
I watched as James kicked the dirt again and threw his broom on the ground, walking off of the pitch.
“You don’t even have to ask,” I responded, looking away and giving Tyson a grin.
“So I don’t look like a slag?” Dom asked me for what was now the millionth and one time that day.
“Of course you do, Dom,” I said to her, scanning up and down her outfit before rolling my eyes. She was wearing a super tight black dress that was scandalously short, sky-high black heels, and her silver hair was in a loose sidebraid. “Your dress is shorter than mine.”
While Dom had initially been upset about the Slytherin win, she had realized quickly that she didn’t actually care much about sports, and as soon as I mentioned the Slytherin party she was completely cured from whatever depression she had once had about Gryffindor losing. Roxy had also been a decent sport about it, and was already at the Slytherin party as well as Chaise.
“Okay… how about this then: do I look too slaggy?” Dom asked, quirking an eyebrow at me.
“Never,” I said linking my arm through hers and pulling her out the door of the common room. “Because then so would I.”
I was wearing a short-sleeved, cornflower blue dress that fit pretty snug and had a u neckline. It was a fairly slaggy length, hitting just above midthigh and had an open back that made it even slaggier, but I decided not to dwell. The only reason I had worn it was because Dom had thrown it at me along with some nude heels, saying it matched my eyes, and I knew arguing with Dom was a lost cause. I hoped that my hair, which was in very soft waves framing my heart shaped face, would unslaggify my look to some extent, but who knows.
It had taken us quite a while to get ready, what with the fact that we were notoriously slow, and the Slytherin party had started a couple of hours ago. So, we weren’t surprised to see the Gryffindor Common room was pretty empty when we entered it, despite a few depressed looking first through fifth years, seeing as most of the 6th and 7th years had gone to the Slytherin party despite losing.
I guess there’s nothing like free alcohol that can drown your sorrows away.
“So,” I began as we headed out of the portrait hole, our heels clacking as we walked. “Are you going to be hanging out with Chaise?”
“Well yeah,” Dom said. “We always hang out with Chaise.”
“But I mean like… hang out,” I said suggestively waggling my eyebrows. “I mean it’s a party, with alcohol and slaggy dresses.”
“Corinne,” Dom said, stopping her pace and putting her hands on her hips, “we’re mates, okay?”
“No you’re not,” I argued back. “You’re soul mates.”
Dom sighed, inspecting her hot pink nails, while she looked as though she was counting in her head. “We’re not soul mates.”
“Oh yeah?” I asked, not believing anything she was saying. “Prove it.”
“Prove that I’m over Chaise?” Dom asked me, and then she shrugged. “Fine.”
She then adjusted her bra lifting her boobs up in the process, cracked her neck from left to right, and stretched her arms over her head.
“We’re hot and we’re single. So we’re going to party,” Dom stated happily, putting a hand on her hip. I rolled my eyes.
"Mhmmm," I said back, still not buying it.
We had reached the Slytherin Common Room by now, and I could hear the faint sound of thumping muggle music from behind the dungeon doors. I stated the password which Tyson had told me was ‘Parseltongue’ and as soon as I did the door opened to reveal a what could only be considered a full out rager.
The muggle music that had once been a loud thump was now an overpoweringly loud beat as Dom and I looked around the room.
The emerald green couches in the common room had been pushed up against the walls as seating areas, and in the middle of the room was a newly constructed dance floor complete with a DJ Booth that some fourth year Slytherin who called himself DJ Too-fine (his real name was Thomas Fiengold) was sitting behind, pumping his fist along with the music as about a hundred dancing bodies crammed themselves on the floor. There were emerald green strobe lights that flickered the Slytherin crest, and above the Slytherin staircases was a huge banner that read ‘Slytherins FTW; Oh wait we did!” Not to mention that there was several tons of emerald green and silver confetti floating around the room as well as streamers.
These Slytherins really knew how to party.
“Wow,” Dom said, echoing my thoughts.
“Dom, Coco! Take a drink!” Tyson said, spotting us by the entrance and waving to us over the crowd of people that were surrounding him. He was sitting by the open bar that was set up near the staircases, at which a huge line of Slytherins were waiting.
“Let them through, let them through,” Tyson commanded, getting the crowd around him to separate. “These gorgeous ladies need drinks, pronto.”
“Since when did you become the ruler of the bar?” I asked Tyson as Dom and I made our way through the crowd and over to him.
“Since I became the hottest beater this school has ever seen,” Tyson responded cockily, putting an arm around my shoulder once I reached him. With his other hand he smacked the countertop of the bar with his fist, and the seventh year Slytherin behind the counter immediately handed him three drinks. He gave one to me, one to Dom, and kept one for himself.
“Now drink up,” Tyson told me. “It’s been too long since the last time, and we’re only young once.”
“You say that every time you have alcohol,” I responded, rolling my eyes. I looked at Dom however, who was totally set on ‘proving’ to me that she was over Chaise, and she had already chugged the drink down.
“So what?” Tyson said, gulping down his drink and ordering another round, despite the fact that I still hadn’t even took a sip of mine. “It’s still true and it’s time for us to enjoy ourselves. Life’s good. Great even. So let’s enjoy it.”
I looked down at the drink that was in my hand and decided to listen to Tyson. While life wasn’t anywhere near good for me, what with my sister still hating me and my parents pretending I don’t exist, I figured that I owed it to myself to have fun, enjoy myself, and be the girl I used to be at Beauxbatons. So...
Shrugging my shoulders. I tilted my head back and gulped down the drink, ignoring the burn it caused in my throat. This was my last year at school and once it was over, I’d have to start being an adult and making my own decisions. And right now I wanted to just fuck it all and be happy. With my best mates.
“Atta girl,” Dom said when I put my empty cup down, as she linked her arms through mine. “Now let’s go dance, yeah?”
I nodded my head, smiling slightly at her, as she yanked me to the over-packed dance floor. I grabbed Tyson’s hand bringing him along with us and when we reached the dance floor, we bumped into Roxy and Wyatt, who already looked very drunk and very close seeing as her arms were wound around his neck while they swayed drunkenly back and forth.
“So I see you two are fine that Gryffindor lost?” Tyson said jokingly.
Roxy gave him a glare and then buried her face in Wyatt’s shoulder for comfort, as Wyatt gave Tyson a look.
“Don’t give me that look,” Tyson said, as Roxy remained curled into Wyatt's shoulder. “You should be happy the girl you’re crazy for is all over you now, wanting to be consoled. This wouldn’t be happening without our win!”
Wyatt shot Tyson another dirty look, and Roxy picked her head up from his shoulder, looking at Tyson.
“Wyatt’s crazy for me?” Roxy asked, looking from Tyson to Wyatt.
Tyson widened is eyes, as though wishing he hadn’t said anything, and Wyatt’s facial expression was frozen. Dom and I exchanged a look.
“Psh, no,” Tyson said. “He’s just…He just…”
“He just really, really likes you. So you two should go out,” I said butting in and deciding to take matters into my own hands.
I then linked my arm through Dom’s and grabbed Tyson’s hand to drag us away despite their protests, figuring that my work was done. Once we were far enough away on the dance floor where they couldn’t see us, we all turned around and watched Roxy and Wyatt who were now standing in front of each other, deep in conversation.
Roxy said something to Wyatt, and he said something back, rubbing the back of his neck as he did so looking nervous. She then appeared to be asking him a question, which caused him to look down at the ground, before finally looking up and nodding his head slowly. Then, suddenly, she put both hands on the side of his face and kissed him, while Wyatt remained frozen in shock. Soon enough, he started kissing her back and then they were full-out snogging, right in the middle of the dance floor.
"Atta boy!" Tyson yelled from where we stood, raising a fist in the air at Wyatt. Wyatt pulled away from Roxy and gave him the finger, before returning back to his snog.
Yup, this was going to be a good party. I could feel it.
Dom had disappeared.
Not that I was surprised—this was Dom we were talking about—but I was beginning to get worried. She’d been gone for a bit too long for my liking, and now I looked like a right loser, standing by some random Slytherin bloke who would not stop trying to look down my dress and nursing my fifth (sixth?) glass of firewhiskey as I scanned the room for anyone I knew.
“You’re really hot, did you know that?” The Slytherin (I’m pretty sure his name was Marcus) said as he leaned in towards me, his breath smelling of pure alcohol.
“Nope,” I responded, shaking my head, which was getting a bit woozy, and backing away. I stumbled. “I’m actually a bit chilly. It’s pretty cold in this room.”
Marcus laughed loudly at my joke, causing a couple random passersby to look over at us.
“You’re funny,” Marcus said sliding closer to me. “I like funny girls.”
“And I like my personal space,” I said as he started to move even closer to me. He was seriously starting to give me the heebie jeebies.
Marcus just laughed again as I said this, thinking I was joking, and brushed his hand against my leg. I shoved it off. “Oh Corinne, if only you knew how hot you were right now,” he stated, leaning his face closer to me as I tried to move away from him, but being that I’d already reached the corner of the room, I couldn’t really move any farther.
“How about we continue this conversation elsewhere?” Marcus asked me, wrapping a hand around my wrist. I tried to yank it away but I was too drunk for him to notice I was trying to escape. “I know a place we could go where—”
“Marcus, mate!” a voice called, causing Marcus to let go of my hand and turn around. I looked to where the voice was coming from to see James Potter, who had a petite auburn-haired girl trailing behind him as he walked towards us. I found myself surprised he had come to the party, but then I remembered he was Al’s brother and was also friends with Tyson. “There you are! Your girlfriend and I were looking all over for you!”
Marcus immediately stepped away from me, his glassy gaze refocusing, looking a bit like a deer caught in the headlights. The auburn-haired girl narrowed her eyes at the two of us.
Shit. Why did these guys always have angry girlfriends?
“What are you doing, Marcus?” the girl asked, not tearing her gaze away from me. I felt myself grow increasingly hot and uncomfortable as she glared.
“Nothing, nothing at all,” Marcus said faking nonchalance. “Corinne and I were just… talking.”
“Talking?” The girl asked, her eyes beginning to flash as she looked at Marcus. “At a party? While you’re drunk?”
“Sounds about right,” Marcus said, nodding his head stupidly.
“We just bumped into each other—” I started to explain, but the girl snapped her gaze back to me, and I’m pretty sure she snarled.
“Don’t even,” she said, her voice holding nothing but disdain. “I know the reputation you have at your old school. You love stealing other girl’s boyfriends. And I’m going to let you know right now that Marcus is mine. ”
“Bianca, I’m sure they were just talking,” James said, defending me, which caught me off guard. Since when did we start defending each other? Not that I was complaining. I was never good in these situations. But still.
“Bullshit,” Bianca said angrily. “She’s the biggest slag—”
“Hey, hey!” James said, interrupting her, as I felt myself growing increasingly angry at what Bianca was saying. “Let’s not start a fight now. How about I take Corinne and you take Marcus, and we promise not to bump into you again, okay?”
Bianca glared at me, and I found myself glaring back at her, despite the fact that I didn’t even like or want Marcus… at all.
“Fine,” Bianca snapped through gritted teeth. She then grabbed Marcus by the hand and marched off.
“Um… thanks,” I said to James once they had disappeared.
“No problem,” James said, shrugging. “You looked really freaked out.”
“Yeah, well…” I said trailing off, “You didn’t have to do that.”
“It’s fine,” James said again. There was another beat of silence. “Tyson’s been looking for you by the way. He’s over by the bar.”
“Oh,” I said simply. I then looked around the room towards the bar, where I could just make out a tuft of blonde hair that looked just like Tyson’s. I guess I should’ve expected he’d be there.
I waited a moment and then I started to walk over to the bar, James falling into step with me, as we remained in an awkward silence. I didn’t feel like making an effort to converse with him, because I still didn’t care much for him, and he seemed to sense this, which just made the silence even tenser.
“Coco, there you are!” Tyson said when we reached him. Chaise was also there. “I’ve been looking for you everywhere.”
“Same here!” I stated, happy to have found my friends and be able to escape the awkwardness of James and I. “I just had the worst encounter ever.”
“Aw,” Tyson said, putting an arm around my shoulder as I pouted, “What happened?”
“She was talking to Marcus Flint and Bianca saw,” James explained while I continued to pout.
“Oh man,” Tyson said, looking down at me and widening his eyes. “Bianca’s crazy.”
“That she is,” James agreed. “That’s why I had to buffer the situation.”
“Corinne,” Chaise said, looking at me seriously, “how many times have we told you not to snog other people’s boyfriends?”
“I wasn’t going to snog him!” I exclaimed. “It’s not my fault.”
“Sure, it’s not,” Tyson said, smirking at me. “You just happen to fall into situations with other girls’ boyfriends by chance.”
“I do actually,” I sniffed. It really wasn’t fair. I never intentionally snogged guys with girlfriends. It just sort of… happened.
“So then Jean Paul was an accident?” Chaise asked. “Him and Faye had been going out for two years.”
“He told me they’d broken up!” I argued back, my head getting woozier as I started to get annoyed. I mean, why did they always have to try and make me feel awful? Nothing I ever did was intentional. “Why are you two yelling at me anyways? I’m drunk; I don’t want to hear it.”
“Aw, I’m sorry Coco,” Tyson said, ruffling my hair, which made me glare at him. “I’ll pick on you when you’re sober instead.”
“Yes, please do,” I said, my voice taking a drowsy turn as I rested my head on his shoulder. “I can’t find Dom by the way.”
“Really?” Chaise asked, faking nonchalance. “Where do you think she is?”
“No idea,” I responded back as I tried to think of where she could be. “There was something where she told me that we were hot and single and that she was going to ‘prove it’… and then she disappeared.”
“Huh,” Chaise said, not looking at all comforted by this. “Maybe I should go look for her…?”
“Whatever floats your boat,” I responded, as he quickly walked away from us, leaving just Tyson, James, and I.
“He wants to snog her,” Tyson said as soon as Chaise disappeared. “Dunno why they won’t just get back together!”
“My thoughts exactly!” I agreed. “If they want to snog, they should snog. It’d make things so much easier.”
“Speaking of snogging,” Tyson said, his tone of voice shifting to a jokier note, “These Hogwarts girls really aren’t cutting it.”
“Ha, ha,” I said back, not caring at all about Tyson’s snogging predicament. I realized Tyson still had a little firewhiskey left in his glass and I yanked it out of his hand and chugged it down. Tyson, however, was too drunk to notice.
“They’re not that bad,” James said, trying to comfort Tyson. “They’re just a bit… obvious.”
I’m not sure if it was the fact that I was drunk, but it suddenly occurred to me that James, the person I detested/didn’t understand, was the last person that I had snogged. How had I not snogged anyone since him? I’d never gone this long without snogging someone before. Did that… mean something?
I shook my head. No, it didn't mean anything. I just needed to snog someone else... Now.
“Tyson, we should snog,” I said, choosing him because he was the first guy I could think of, and was also right in front of me.
Tyson burst out laughing as I said this, while James just stood there watching the two of us with an unreadable expression. “Oh no, you’ve reached your snogging stage of drunkenness. You’re not allowed another drink.”
“You don’t wanna snog me?” I asked him, feeling insulted. I was a snoggable girl, and he had just laughed at me! The audacity.
“Of course I do,” Tyson said soothingly. “And if the both of us weren’t drunk, I totally would. But you’re only saying this because you’re drunk. Why don’t you go find a guy with a girlfriend or something?”
“I hate you,” I said, crossing my arms. “You’re the worst friend ever.”
“But you love me,” Tyson said, smirking and then kissing me on the cheek. I wiped my hand on my cheek after he kissed it, pretending to be disgusted. He sighed. “Remember what you said last time I offered you a snog? ‘Tyson, we’re only mates.’ So, I’m going to honor that.”
“Whatever,” I said, still feeling insulted. If Tyson, the guy that snogs everyone, didn’t even want to snog me, then what did that mean?
“And now, you’re at your angry stage of drunkenness,” Tyson said. Someone then called Tyson’s name and we looked across the room to see Al, who seemed a bit angry. Tyson turned to James. “Hey, mate, do you mind watching over her? I gotta go talk to Al and make sure he’s not pissed at me and Scorp for having this party without his wishes, and I don’t know where Chaise has gone...”
“Uh… sure,” James said, sounding anything but.
“I donneed a babysitter!” I argued, my voice starting to slur. Tyson ignored me, as he unwrapped his arms from around me and propped me up.
“Just sit her over on the couches or something,” Tyson said distractedly, before remembering something and turning back around. “Oh, and make sure she doesn’t snog anyone.”
“Will do,” James said. Tyson then nodded his head and walked away from the two of us, leaving a very awkward pause.
“Let’s go to the couches then, shall we?” James said, obviously wanting to follow Tyson’s orders.
“Fine,” I said annoyed. I grabbed a bottle of firewhiskey off of the countertop of the bar ignoring the exclamations of 'Hey! You can't take that' from the bar tender. “But I’m still drinking, no matter what Tyson says about me being too drunk.”
“Guess that’s fair,” James said, not looking like he wanted to argue much with me. We then walked over to some couches in the corner of the room, the music from the dance floor still thumping loudly. I stumbled as we walked, causing James to catch me and then help me walk the rest of the way to the couch. I cringed. I could walk by myself, thank you very much.
When we reached the couch, I plopped down on it immediately, and James sat down a little aways from me, leaving couple of feet between the two of us. There was a silence-
“So, why are you here?” I asked James bluntly, my speech still a bit slurred. “Didn’t your team just, like, lose?”
James’ hands began to clench after I said this, but he replied calmly. “Yeah, we did. But I still want to enjoy the party and support my brother.”
“Oh,” I responded lamely.
We remained silent for a long while after that. I avoided any and all eye contact while James drummed his fingers against his knee.
“So,” James said, the silence becoming too much for him to bear, “What do you wanna do?”
I said the first thing that came to mind.
“Drink,” I answered, taking a swig out of the bottle of firewhiskey and then passing it over to him. “You should have some to if you want to be able to tolerate me. I get annoying when I’m pissed.”
“So do I,” James said, but he listened to me anyways and took a drink. “But I guess I’m annoying to you regardless.”
“Well look at that,” I responded, grabbing the bottle back from him and taking another swig, “You’re actually right for once.”
“My family hates me,” I stated, loudly passing the almost empty bottle of firewhiskey to James.
Over the past hour of us sitting at the couch we had developed some sort of game, where each of us would take a drink and say something about ourselves. As the bottle had begun to dwindle our proclamations had gotten more and more sad and soppy, and now I knew I was way too drunk to even have a filter through my thoughts and emotions.
“I’m sure that’s not true,” James said, looking as though he was trying to comfort me.
“You’re wrong,” I responded back to him. “They actually do. My sister especially.”
I still didn’t understand why I was sharing this with him. I mean, I knew I was extremely drunk, but there was something in the back of my head that was shouting at me that I should keep my mouth shut. I mean this was James I was talking to. But for some reason, I was ignoring it.
And speaking of my sister, she was here. She was leaning against the wall, socializing with one of her friends, acting as though she didn't have a care in the world. She hadn't made eye contact with me the entire time she'd been at the party, and I was sure she was avoiding me. Typical.
“I think my family hates me too,” James said, staring across the room at Freddy, who had also shown up and was talking with Madison and Elise. My three favorite people. James wasn’t even close to as drunk as I was, because he had taken Tyson’s duties over watching me seriously, but for some reason he was still sharing way too personal things with me.
I snapped my head towards him, shocked at what he’d said. I then waited.
“What?” James asked, noticing that I kept staring at him.
“Explain,” I ordered, as if it was obvious.
James didn’t look like he particularly wanted to, but I continued to stare at him, urging him to talk. He sighed, blowing some of his hair off his face and turned to me. I guess he figured he could open up to the super drunk girl (me).
“It’s just…” James said, looking as though he was trying to formulate the right words, “I’m like… the fuck up of the family... if that makes sense.”
As James said this he drummed his fingers against his legs more rapidly, trying to release his nerves.
“How so?” I asked James, growing very, very curious. I don’t think he’d ever been this open before, and I was going to try and get as much information from him as I could.
“Well… nobody knows this,” James said, looking straight ahead and not really looking at me, “But I wasn’t really... planned. My mum and dad wanted to wait to have kids, until their careers died down and everything would be all dandy and shit. But then... I came along and there was nothing they could do about it.”
I said nothing as I continued watching James clench his hands tighter and my face remained impassive, urging James to continue.
“My mum had to quit playing Quidditch to take care of me, and I think she kind of resents me for it. Like I was the one to take away the one thing that made her happy. Not to mention my dad had to take a job that he didn’t really want if only for the money. It’s like... I ruined their plans.”
“But that’s not your fault,” I told him.
“Everything else is though,” James said, still not really looking at me. It seemed as though he had wanted to get this off his chest for a long time. “I was the worst kid, ever. And it was like, once they had Lily and Al, my parents knew what not to do. Al is better than me at Quidditch and both of them get way better grades than I do. It’s like… I’m just this screw up of the family. And they all act like me being the screw up is just a joke, but I know better."
He swallowed hard and then turned to me, his mouth twisted into some weird smile. "Did you know… did you know that my first year of Hogwarts, they didn’t write to me? Not even once?”
I looked down at my hands, not sure how to respond to James. I always assumed he had had a perfect life. He had famous parents, bucket loads of money, and everyone at school loved him. It was odd how, once everything was stripped down to the basics, we were a lot alike. He was overshadowed by his siblings and an outcast to his parents, and so was I. Was this why he had wanted to win the Quidditch game so badly? To beat Al and have his parents love him more?
“I haven’t talked or heard from my mum since I left Hogwarts,” I said my voice sounding small to my own ears. I didn't know why I was saying this, but it suddenly felt like the right thing to say. “She thinks I chose my dad over her by wanting to live with him and go to Beauxbatons, but that’s not true. I just wanted everyone to stop being mean to me. I figured having to live with my nonexistent dad was worth it, but sometimes... I’m not so sure.”
James’s mouth became a flat line as he heard what I said, but I knew I had needed to say it. Maybe he just had to understand, for once, how he had unknowingly reshaped my life.
“I shouldn’t have done what I did to you,” James said, turning and facing me. “I was an angry kid. It was just so… different when I attended school and suddenly all these people liked me. I just wanted to prove that they were right to like me, so I needed someone to make fun of… It was stupid of me to do.”
I nodded my head not sure if I believed him. It just seemed too… easy, to be able to accept his apologies, despite all of his reasoning. But I could still feel a small part of me wanting to forgive him and let everything go. However, there was also a larger part of me, buried deep within myself, that was still screaming that I was hurting and scarred, and it was all because of him.
“I stopped being as shitty after you left,” James said quietly, so that I could barely hear him over the music. “I realized my jokes hadn’t ever been funny, and things with my parents got… better… after I crashed a car they had borrowed from the ministry a couple years ago. We have to see a family counselor every time I’m home now, but it’s better than the alternative.”
“What’s the alternative?” I asked him.
“Letting everything fester inside me, letting it continue to build and build, until suddenly it all comes out in one, huge rush,” James answered. “It’s much better this way.”
I grew silent as my thoughts picked over what he had just said. Was that what I had been doing? Letting everything just kind of hide beneath the surface, waiting for an excuse where I could let everything out? I mean, I had been so intent on hating all the Gryffindors when I came here, I had punched Freddy in the face on the first day, I had exploded at James after the Great Hall incident even though he had nothing to do with it, and I had even gotten in a fight with two of my best friends over James. Had I been going about everything all wrong?
"Why are you telling me this?" I asked James, my head throbbing with a million thoughts. James had no reason to tell me all of his personal details. It all made no sense.
However, before he could open his mouth to respond, there was a angry shout that permeated through the room, and I looked to see Chaise, entering the Slytherin Common Room, looking extremely pissed. I immediately got up from my seat next to James and hurried over to Chaise, widening my eyes at his miffed expression. Tyson was trailing after him, looking worried.
“What… what happened?” I asked Chaise.
“Dom.” Chaise answered me through gritted teeth, refusing to say more.
“What do you mean?” I asked, turning to Tyson for an answer, noticing Chaise couldn’t seem to form coherent words.
“Well… he found her,” Tyson said, looking wearily at Chaise, “And she was snogging someone else.”
A/N: DUN DUN DUN! And now things have gotten very very interesting.
This is actually one of my most crucial chapters thus far in the story, so I'm very happy to finally have it written and out. All of the next chapters are going to be very crucial to the story as well, and once chapter 30ish rolls around, the story is going to be over. :'(
Which brings me to another point... 20 CHAPTERS! I never imagined, in a million years, that I'd ever get this far with a story. And I seriously have all of you to thank for inspiring me with your reviews, and keeping me going.
So onto my ramble of questions: What do you think about Slytherin winning? Roxy and Wyatt getting together? Corinne and James? JAMES? I know his backstory might be difficult for those of you who love Harry and Ginny, and I'm not trying to make them monsters, I'm just trying to show that no family is perfect. They've had their ups and downs and all.
OH AND MY LAST QUESTION: Who was Dom snogging?
I'd like to dedicate this chapter to my bestestestest Olivia, who read this entire story in one night (except for the first five chapters which she had already read when I first posted them) and then read this chapter over and convinced me to post it now now now. Thank her for the quick update, because I've been toying with the idea of this chapter for a while.
Anyways, I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH FOR BEING AMAZING READERS&REVIEWERS! Please review and let me know what you think, and I'll get more inspiration ergo a speedier update.
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